A few months into the events of 2020, there was a huge spike in the consumption of home electronics. More people than ever jumped into gaming and online activities as they were forced to stay home. People also started to work from home, and explore eCommerce options as a way to keep the lights on at home.
At the other end of things, manufacturers temporarily closed operations or worked at limited capacity. As was to be expected, this created a perfect storm that drove the price of electronics up, while supply dwindled.
This put gamers in a dire position. High-end chips and cards became difficult to find or got incredibly expensive. So much so, that it was sometimes better to get a prebuilt computer on sale just to gut it and get the graphics card. This made sense for a while, but it is no longer an option as manufacturers caught up and now factor in scarcity in their pricing structure.
This situation has been going on for a while. Fortunately for us, most of the actors affected by this situation rolled up their sleeves and started working on fixing this problem. However, there are still some details that need to be ironed out.
First, let’s talk about the upcoming obstacles in the chip industry.
There are only a few serious chip foundries around the world, and most of them are located overseas. This is not necessarily bad. However, when the supply chain gets disrupted, our capacity to make up for that decreased capacity gets affected.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the South Korean Samsung, and Intel are all considering hiking the price of their products even higher. While most people blame corporate greed for this, we must remember that they had been lowering prices for decades and were still being accused of the same thing. So, there sure are other factors at play.
The first one was the increased demand we mentioned above, combined with supply chain disruptions that affected the access to raw materials, and factories operating at limited capacities due to lockdown situations around the world. However, these factors have been addressed lately, and we still don’t see improvement in prices and availability of CPUs and graphic cards.
Still, companies like AMD and NVIDIA have been introducing newer cards into the market.
AMD recently released their RX 6000 series line with three new models. Their RX 6950XT card is the most powerful Radeon card ever made, according to their PR team, and it technically is. However, it seems the FPS count is nothing to write home about when we take the price tag increase. Moreover, from what we could see during several tests, these cards seem to produce enough heat to be used as a central heating unit in winter. So, the jury is still out.
Now, NVIDIA has been working on newer and more powerful cards as well, and we can’t wait to get our hands on these next-gen chips. However, they also declared their commitment to reducing energy consumption, which sounds counterintuitive since more power usually means more energy and heat. Their solution, according to their most recent press release, is to create liquid-cooled graphic cards to manage heat.
When asked if these water-cooled cards will be able to catch up to newer AMD chips, they insisted it could be done. However, these cards aren’t expected to hit the market just yet.
The good news is that the chip price hike has attracted more capital into this industry, and there are many chip makers injecting money into bigger foundries and factories. Intel just announced the construction of a “mega site” in Ohio, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company raised expenditure to $44B this year to increase output, and Spain and Germany announced huge investments in the tech sector.
The future bodes well for the gaming industry next year and, hopefully, we will see an increase in computer component availability. For the time being, the best way to find the best components and get the custom gaming PC of your dreams is to visit the best gaming computer builder in the US. CLX Gaming has everything you need in one place.